Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Kill-A-Cow Day!

Today is Korbani Eid, the day when Muslims sacrifice an animal in remembrance of the time that God provided a ram for Abraham to spare his son. It's not a great day for vegetarians.

But this Muslim family raked in the loot over the Christmas holiday. There are definite advantages to religious tolerance!!

Here's a breakdown of my vaycay:

Hours slept: including naps, at least 15 per day.

Movies watched: three - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, II, and III. I have seen each movie exactly four times.

Shopping trips: one

Sweater vests purchased for dogs: two

Cookies consumed: at least 20 frosted/sprinkled sugar cookies, and assorted gingerbread.

Strangest task performed: Cutting own bangs with huge orange scissors in Masud's foggy bathroom mirror.

Planned reading list: The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman and The Curious Feminist by Cynthia Enloe

Actual reading: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Dicamillo and about 2 pages of The Lexus and The Olive Tree. The entire December edition of Jane Magazine.

Friends visited: two - Tanya (and her sister Sonya) in Ann Arbor, and Shompa (and her husband Shumon) in Canada.

Days left until we leave: four

We've had such a great visit with Masud, but both Isaac and I are dreading the moment when we'll have to leave him. His next visit will probably be in March for Isaac's seventh birthday. It's a long ways away.

It's a good thing I'll be busy with school.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Birthday Birthday Oh What Fun

Take a picture from below, and I have many chins.

Take a picture from above, and the chins disappear!

In lieu of a cake, I had a pickle with a small votive on it so I could make a birthday wish. I ate an entire jar of pickles last night, and really grossed out my new friend Heather who is a pickle hater.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Done and DONE!

Finally! Yesterday I had a bad moment when I realized that the term project paper that I needed to write had to be ten pages, but fortunately it wasn't too bad. Now I have four glorious weeks to do whatever I please!

And tonight, what I please is to party. As you know, as of today I'm no longer a twenty-something. I don't FEEL 30. I remember when I was little and I realized that my parents were in their 30's and I thought they were SO OLD. Three decades of life! I still live with my parents and I'm still in school, and I enjoy stickers, and I laugh really hard when people fart, and I'm still naive enough to believe that I can make a difference in the world. I hope I can always laugh at fart jokes, unlike my friend Miss Lippy, who must remain stern when her students flatulate. I don't think I'd every be able to resist laughing! The funniest thing about farts is when the farter is really embarrassed. Like my dad, he's such a prude. He'll let one slip and he'll blush and say "Whoops." And then I tease him relentlessly. He even gets embarrassed when other people fart.

But enough about farts.

I learned a lot this semester - SAS programming, linear regression, rational choice theory. I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that I can get by on 5 hours of sleep a night, that I am so lucky to have such a supportive family, and that I really have a lot to learn about so many things. I'm already looking forward to next semester and I feel like I made the right decision to come back to school.

Now it's time to kick back and enjoy the rest of 2006. Happy holidays to everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I stole this idea...

...from my blog-buddy Big W. I spend an awful lot of keystrokes on this blog complaining about my life and it's high time that I counterbalance it with some gratitude, so here it goes.

I'm happy that I'm almost done with this semester.

I'm happy that on Saturday, I get to ride a train, a taxi, the El, and an airplane with Isaac and at the end of the journey, I'll see my dear husband waiting to pick us up.

I'm happy that my fish, whose lifespan is supposed to be one year, is currently 3 years old.

I'm happy that my mom does my dishes and makes my bed every day.

I'm happy that my planner is covered with stickers.

I'm happy that my satellite internet got installed yesterday.

I'm happy that last night when I was singing a made-up lullaby to Isaac, he said that I should make an album because my voice is so beautiful.

I'm happy that I have great friends who live all over the country and world.

I'm happy that George Bush can't run for reelection again.

I'm happy that my dogs get so happy to see me when I come home that they pee a little.

I'm happy that my mom got a Christmas tree this year, even though I know she didn't want to but she did it to make the rest of us happy.

I'm happy for dill pickles.

I'm happy that I'll have time to visit my grandparents over break.

I'm happy that I'm in school even though it's hard.

I'm happy that I've made new friends this year.

I'm happy that my dad is in the community theater play.

I'm happy that I know how to speak Bangla.

I'm happy that my sister and I have a great relationship.

I'm happy that we get a year of free Showtime.

I'm happy for The Daily Show.

I'm happy that I'm going to be 30 tomorrow and I still live with my parents (seriously!)

I'm happy that my brother has an awesome dog named Riley.

I'm happy that I know how to make plum jelly without using pectin.

I'm happy that I've stopped eating Kwik Trip vanilla ice cream with oreos crunched up in it every night.

I'm happy that I get to spend Friday on State Street with my mom doing Christmas shopping.

I'm happy about the selection of music on my iPod.

I'm happy that I really like my job and have some good friends there.

I'm happy that Isaac read to me last night.

I'm happy that even though Masud and I live apart, we call each other every day and have meaningful phone conversations.

I'm happy that my birds sing to me in the morning when I get up.

I'm happy that I get to see the sunrise AND sunset every day because I ride the van pool.

I could go on and on - I'm surprised at how easy it was to make this list and how good it made me feel! Thanks Big W!

Monday, December 18, 2006


I just emailed an 80-page collection of essays on "Economic Sociology" to my professor. I also finished a two-hour cumulative statistics exam. Now all I have left is to write up my project paper for my other stats class and I'm home free!

I can't believe Christmas is almost here, and I'm going to be 30 (or, as Pili says 15 x 2) in 2 days! I've become elderly!

Hopefully I'll have enough brain juice to come up with a better post soon...stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cuttin' it close!

I have a presentation tomorrow morning for which I am only 25% prepared. I have lots of work to do today (and had planned on doing it while "working" at my PA job, but came in and found out I have meetings all afternoon!) This morning I got here at 7 a.m., went to the computer lab, cranked out some datasets, and then ran up to my office for my 8 a.m. office hour. I have class from 9-12, which I want to skip so BAD but it's the last lecture and I should go. Then I have meetings until 3:30, which is van time. I always fall asleep on the van even when I don't want to, and then when I get home it's as if the bed has a gravitational pull to rival the moon, and I can't get anything done.

I have to finish tomorrow's presentation (compile data, develop powerpoint, make notes for presenting), write a paper relating to the presentation, write four last papers for economic sociology, study for a cumulative final exam on Monday, and finish a statistical analysis project by Friday. Augh.

And to top it all off, I've caught a contagious disease of tendonitis from my buddy Gina. I bet you didn't know it was contagious, did you? My left hand hurts when I type, and I'm sure it's her fault for forcing me to have lunch with her at Buraka. At least the food was good.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Robert Scissorhands

I'm not sure what Rob is doing with those tongs...

Study break

This weekend I was extremely productive. I sat at the kitchen table for 8 hours on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. My life is so sad right now - I actually caught myself thinking, "OK Katie, one more paragraph, and then for a reward you can get up and do the dishes!"

Friday, December 08, 2006

No comment.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Three days, three panic attacks.

Why do I do this to myself? Thanks to my gloriously slothful weekend, I'm now more behind than ever, and finals week is careening toward me at breakneck speed. I've got to get this stupid SAS program figured out, write 6 more papers, do a big statistical analysis project, study for two exams, and develop a presentation, basically all in the next ten days.

Today as I was sitting in class grappling with the idea of how to compare the probabilities of two samples using confidence intervals and the plus-four method, I felt like standing up and announcing to the class that I really wanted to eat a Choco Taco, and if anyone had one I'd give them all the money in my bag ($5.62).

I restrained myself, and here I am, safely in the computer lab getting ready to pack up for the long drive home. Maybe I'll stop at Kwik Trip for the Choco Taco.

Monday, December 04, 2006

14 hours

That's how long I slept on Friday night. After a relaxing date (dinner and a movie with Isaac), I fell into blissful slumber. I woke up once to let the dogs out, and then fell, oblivious, back into bed. I think Isaac woke me up several times to ask me when I was getting up, but I mumbled "Five more minutes" and went back to sleep. It was as if my body had become one with the mattress. I got up at noon. NOON! I haven't done that since pre-motherhood!!!

Of course it screwed up my sleep schedule for the rest of the weekend but it was worth it.

Page came home for a visit this weekend and showed me how to put on eyeliner so I don't look like a drug addict. Did you know that you actually have to put it on the INSIDE of the eyelashes? (On the bottom at least.) Yeah, that's kinda gross if you ask me.

I've got exactly 11 days left of classes. I've written exactly 8 of 14 papers that are due on Dec. 18. It's taken me the entire semester to this point to write 8 papers, so how do I think I can write six in 11 days? I don't. That's why I had a panic attack last night. But then I wondered, is my professor actually going to read all 70 pages of papers that I hand in? Impossible! I think I'll just put my best ones on the top of the pile.

I also need to finish my SAS program. Last week we learned a little about GIS and SAS - very cool. If I was smart enough, I'd do my thesis with GIS. It's a tool that allows researchers to plot their data on a map so that we can examine spatial relationships in the data. Geography, it's more than rocks and maps.

Speaking of which, I better get back to my homework.

Friday, December 01, 2006

some updates...

1. Che seems to be doing well. The vet thinks that if we stick to a special diet, keep encouraging him to drink water, and get him on IV fluids right away if he starts to throw up, that he'll be okay. El Che says gracias for everyone's prayers!!!

2. Isaac read an entire book by himself last night! He even got some hard words like "through" and "light". I guess his pronouncement at the beginning of the school year that he would "NEVER be ALBE to READ!!!" wasn't quite accurate. Nobel Prize, here we come!

3. Today is World AIDS Day. Let's get rid of this horrible disease!

4. I bit the bullet (what the hell does that saying mean?) and signed up for satellite internet yesterday. $300 to install, and $50 a month, but I will be connected again as soon as Wednesday.

5. I love my friends! I'm so lucky - I've had phone calls and emails and blog comments from so many of you in the past week. TKP even sent me some new tunes that helped me get my groove back. Every single one of you (even some of you that I've never seen face to face!) means a lot to me. (Warm Fuzzies.)

6. I'm thinking about learning Hindi. It'll come in very handy when I'm watching Hindi films.

7. This morning we're having a minor winter storm here in Madison. I had to drive the last leg of the vanpool and nearly killed myself. First I couldn't stop even though I was going S-L-O-W and then fishtailed around a coupla corners. Van=Scary.

8. My plan for this weekend: Sleep in, clean a little, sleep some more, write five million papers, sleep, do lots of stats homework, sleep.